Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Over Spring Break...

... we had some soccer games. Abby's team won 9-2. Abby scored 2 goals. Avery's team won 1-0. On a side/updated note, Avery's team remains undefeated and in the last game, Avery scored the first 3 goals in the first 5 minutes. Abby lost their first game. :(

... we had another successful Titus Project. The group I am working with is practicing puppet shows for our younger kid's classes.

...the girls went to spend the night with their good friend, Sybil.

...we went to dinner and then bowling with the Payne family. Eric is the assistant coach with Wes for Abby's soccer team. Their daughter, Reagan, is on Abby's team. They have two other daughters. Our girls all have a good time together.

...we went to church on Wednesday night, where I got to teach a sweet group of 5th graders. Can't wait to have them in our youth group!

... we went to the Dallas World Aquarium with several families from church. A good time was had by all, and we were blessed with a beautiful day to enjoy lunch outside after the DWA visit.

...we had Paislee and Preslee over for a sleepover. Our girls have been friends with them since birth and they always have a blast together.

... we had the Payne family over for dinner. We ate outside and played outside the whole time. The adults played washers. Thankfully, I got to be on Wes' team although, I don't know if he feels the same way.

It was a nice break! I am thankful I get to be off of work when the girls are out of school.

Book Character Day

Hyde Park Elementary always has Book Character Day where the students get to dress up like a character in a book and bring the book to school. Avery decided to be Fancy Nancy and Abby decided to be Pinkalicious. We went to get some ice cream after school, and we got some funny looks.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to Avery!

Avery turned 8 today! Here are some things I always want to remember about our precious gift from God.

1. Avery is very creative. She can make something out of anything. She tapes paper together to make chairs, houses or other objects. She has made up several T.P. roll crafts all on her own. She also put together her very own scrapbook.

2. Going right along with her creativity, Avery is quite the artist. She loves to draw. She has accumulated many coloring books over the years, but she would much rather draw her own art. She has even won some art contests and recently some of her artwork was on display at the DISD administration building. It is humbling when your daughter is a better artist than than you. (It has been that way since she was about 5.)

3. Avery is thoughtful. She likes to make things or write notes or cards to people. A couple of months ago she even wrote a poem for my friend, Jennifer.

4. Avery can be shy at times. This is especially true if she doesn't know someone very well. Recently, Wes had taken her to the public library to get some resources for her gifted and talented class. He asked her to find out where something was from the librarian. She immediately began to well up with tears at the thought of having to do that.

5. Avery is a great reader. She can read on a 5th grade level and has won the award every year for having the most Accelerated Reader points in her grade. Sometimes she can be seen reading to Abby (who she helped learn to read) or even her dolls or stuffed animals. It is pretty cute to watch her really get into the story with voices and enthusiasm.

6. Avery can be sneaky. She likes to "spy" on people. She also was punished a few weeks ago for taking cookies and eating them behind a chair in the game room.

7. Avery is her sister's biggest fan and cheerleader. When Abby and her friends put on "shows" for us she encourages her and does all her introductions. Abby often likes to put on dance routines for her friends, family, or the youth group. Avery is always on the side encouraging her.

8. Avery can be motherly/bossy, which I suppose is part of being the first born child. She not only likes to tell Abby what to do, but I have heard her on occasion try to tell other little kids what to do. In fact, after a small group meeting at our house last year when we had over 40 people at our house she informed me that the next week she had a plan: the little kids would be separated into her and Abby's room, and she would read to them and play with them. If they were too loud or misbehaved then she would send them to time-out in the corner. Ha!

9. Avery enjoys playing soccer. She has been playing since Kindergarten on the same team, the Denison Ponies. They have held a great record. The first season they did not lose any games. Since then, they have only lost one game each season.

10. Speaking of her soccer playing ability, Avery is one competitive little girl. She's generally the smallest girl on the field, but that phrase, "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog" totally applies to her. She'll get in there and mix it up with the biggest of players - bouncing up every time she's knocked down.

11. Avery understands technology. Laptops, iPods, video games, DVRs and more just come naturally to her, and she's been known to teach her sister or even other adults how to operate certain electronics.

12. Avery is a people pleaser. For the most part, she likes to please her friends, school teachers, Bible class teachers, and even Wes and I which makes life a lot easier.

13. Avery is sensitive. Sometimes all we have to do is look at her sternly and she changes her behavior. Other times when we are vocally correcting her, she will begin to cry out of remorse.

14. Avery is insightful. She picks up on things easily. She has often related something that Todd said in his sermon or something she learned at school or in Bible class and applied it to another situation.

15. Avery entertains herself well. She does not have to be entertained or played with all the time. She is happy playing by herself.

16. Avery is a great eater. She eats almost everything that is put on her plate. She understands that we can't always eat our favorite foods all the time, but that we need to eat certain things to keep us healthy.

We are so thankful for this precious gift. She is one of the greatest blessings God has gifted us with and our lives are touched daily by Avery Nicole.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Titus Project

The Titus project is a 12 week activity designed to teach service and leadership to our 3rd - 12th graders. It has been going on since the end of January and it has been amazing! My friend Nikki and I are huddle leaders for a group of 8th grade boys. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these young men even more. It has been a joy serving and learning along with these guys.

Each night begins with dinner and and ice breaker questions. We then move on to discussion questions regarding a certain Bible story. After that we move on to another activity. For the first four weeks the middle schoolers participated in different service projects. I especially enjoyed our trip to the local homeless shelter where we picked up kids and brought them back to our church to join us for our meal. After eating and hanging out with them for a bit we went back to the shelter where we learned more about the shelter itself. The next week we made baskets filled with games and toys to take to the shelter. It was heart warming to watch our teens love on the kids.

Zak and Nikki

Hunter and Brandon

Hunter, Hunter (who we have nicknamed Jorge), and Hayden.

These guys keep us on our toes, for sure, but I am really excited about the next several weeks. My prayer is that these young men will get a taste of how they can use their God-given talents to bless our church and community.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Birthday Celebrations!

Avery and Abby wanted to have a combined slumber party this year for their birthday. They each chose a friend to spend the night. We took the gang to Cheddar's for dinner. We ended our dinner with with Cookie Monsters complete with candles and a birthday song with some of the waiters and waitresses.
From there we headed to the movies to watch Gnomeo and Juliet in 3D. It was a pretty funny show and the girls really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it.
When we got home all the girls enjoyed playing with one another, and Avery and Abby opened their gifts. We sent them to bed at 11:00. They all wanted to sleep in Avery's room. I don't know why we always think they will sleep in longer if we let them stay up with friends, because the rarely do. This time was no exception. Sybil is used to getting up at 6:15, so sure enough at 6:15 they were all up. Thankfully, they watched some cartoons for a while before Wes went to get us all donuts for breakfast.
Soon after breakfast we broke out some jewelry making kits and made necklaces, rings, and bracelets.
Later in the morning they pretended to be spies and called themselves "The Black Cats". They dressed themselves in all black and spied on me. I didn't know I lead a life worth spying on, but whatever. Wes was their "director" and would send them on missions. He even helped them come up with a special written code to communicate with each other in secret.

Best Buds!

Friends forever!

Can you girls eat all of that?

Abby is licking her lips!

Super excited girls ready to see the movie!

We are sporting our 3D glasses.

The movie was a success!

A great time was had by all. The girls enjoyed an afternoon nap to help them catch up on their missed sleep.

The next weekend we celebrated their birthdays with our families. They also got to join us for the girls' first soccer games. Both teams tied. The cousins had fun playing outside where the weather was awesome! The girls requested pizza for the meal, so we had pizza, salad, and fruit followed by cupcakes, brownies, and ice cream. (Actually, Avery's first request was her favorite meal, beans and cornbread, but that is definitely not one of Abby's favorite meals so they compromised on pizza.)

Soccer players and their supportive fans!

Hanging out in the backyard.

Indoor fun!

Thanks everyone, for helping us celebrate these two precious girls!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Valentine Cookies and More Snow Days

A few weeks ago we had even more school cancellations due to the snow/ice making it a total of six days of missed school. That's alright, we enjoyed more free time together.

One of the things we did was make some Valentine cookies for friends and family.We decided to walk in the snow for over a mile to our friend Nikki's house to deliver some cookies to her and her neighbors, the Pughes. Nikki fixed us some yummy hot chocolate and we hung out for a while at her place before starting our trek home. The snow was really coming down hard, but it just made it more of adventure. Plus, we had been going stir crazy cooped up in the house. We witnessed a car wreck which made me even more thankful that I had stayed off the roads.

Yes, the girls wore their pajamas all day on most of those days! Why not? I am thankful that the girls had each other to play with during all these cooped up days. Thank you God for sisters!